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Best-In-Class Customer Service: The Proactive Tenet
Author: McKenzie Beach
- Being proactive is pivotal in the fast-paced higher education environment we work in
- Nelnet Campus Commerce uses research and statistics to proactively stay ahead
- Compelled to help in any way needed, we want to make paying for higher education a breeze for students by anticipating the future of payment solutions
McKenzie graduated from Doane University last May with a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Leadership. She wrote for the institution’s newspaper and played basketball while being a Tiger. Joining Nelnet Campus Commerce as a content coordinator intern, she looks forward to writing articles that effectively communicate what is needed to our clients and the public. When McKenzie is not writing, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.Blog Post
Proactive vs. reactive
In the extremely fast-paced higher education environment we work in, being reactive is not even an option. By identifying and resolving issues before they become a full-blown problem, we’re better, more proactive partners to the people and institutions we work with. We take the same approach to technology – anticipating the future of higher education payment solutions, so we can confidently provide the latest technology and services to an institution.
Rebecca McMickell, Nelnet Campus Commerce account manager, says being proactive in her work life is absolutely essential so she can forecast a situation and take action rather than waiting for potential issues to arise before responding.
“I think awareness and action are the two most important aspects of being proactive,” Rebecca says. “Being aware and alert to things others may not have thought of yet, and then taking action right away to find solutions helps stop problems before they start.”
Research drives proactivity
Nelnet Campus Commerce data scientists are constantly providing new research that showcases statistically significant higher education trends. This allows our partnerships to act proactively – getting ahead while they can and avoiding obstacles down the road. For example, a recent study showed that students who utilize a payment plan are nearly 8% more likely to be retained at that institution from semester-to-semester. Getting payment plans out to students is a proactive action that can have a significant and positive impact on an institution.
Daryl Robinson, Nelnet Campus Commerce director of product strategy, says data analytics is helpful and proactive because it assists institutions by predicting which students and families might need more help.
“It lets you organize the chaos and focus your resources on the most important areas,” Daryl says. “It helps you focus on the students that are at risk, students that need more hand-holding, to make it through their educational journey.”
Kriss Cassano, bursar at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, says the Nelnet Campus Commerce associates have contributed to student success at her institution by being proactive.
“They listen and develop a product that will help with payment processing and payment plans,” Kriss says.
Driven to help institutions succeed
Providing data-based solutions for our partners reflects the driven behavior of our associates. We aren’t giving our partners cookie-cutter products, but instead a well-researched solution. We put ourselves in our partner’s shoes so we can build solutions that best fit their unique needs. Compelled to help in any way needed, we want to make paying for higher education easier for students.
Rebecca says she remembers being in college and having the stress of tuition.
“I try to always approach projects or situations with a student-centric view,” Rebecca says. “Resolving an issue before it becomes a problem ensures that the correct payment solutions are available on time, which that could be the reason a student is able to take classes that term.”
For us, creating ways for students to pay for college isn’t just but a passion we share throughout the entire organization. Everything from creating payment plan marketing toolkits for institutions, to providing refund options – we are prepared and willing to help.
“Sharing meaningful dialogue with institutions and helping their students succeed is why I show up every day,” Rebecca says.
Positive energy, active engagement
Being proactive takes a lot of energy – you’re going above and beyond to prepare for the future. Positive energy and active engagement is what our associates bring to the table every day. We’re eager to have a big impact on our partner institutions, helping them continually improve throughout the years.
Humam Salih, Nelnet Campus Commerce team leader, says he keeps a high level of energy by simply starting his day off right. For him, a cup of coffee does the trick to kick start the day and puts a smile on his face.
It is always a good reminder to appreciate the small things in life (l like a fresh cup of joe). We all have tough days – but when you’re able to find the good in bad times, you’ll be more enthusiastic and successful. Enjoy your work. Have a positive attitude. Create a work-life balance that works for you.
“I enjoy what I do. I work with an awesome team and amazing clients, which makes work an enjoyable aspect of my day, which always helps in keep my energy high,” Humam says. “Looking on the positive side of an issue will keep your spirit high during the days as well as helping you get to the solution quicker.”
To stay prepared, our associates keep up on routine trainings – making them proficient in higher education payment solutions.
Tara Kleinberg, bursar at Linfield University, said that since Nelnet Campus Commerce associates have knowledge of the systems, it is beneficial and helpful to her institution.
Tara says when she thinks of our associates she thinks of, “Customer service and going above and beyond when we need them for our families.”
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